The Oregon men’s hockey team has endured an unusual season this year.
Per the team’s Facebook page, the Ducks have had 10 games cancelled this season. For comparison, the Ducks have only cancelled two games over the previous two years.
Despite the unusual scheduling situations, this season will come down to the Pac-8 tournament in South Lake Tahoe, California.
The tournament consists of five teams that will battle in a three-day tournament to decide a champion. The Ducks, who come into the tournament as the four-seed, will start off against the five-seed USC Trojans on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The teams played twice in the regular season with the Ducks losing two games, 4-3 and 7-4. The Trojans finished the Pac-8 tournament as the runner-up last season.
“I definitely think we can beat them,” head coach Chris Stankeivicz said. “We went down to UCLA and beat them twice, and UCLA just beat USC so I think we have a pretty good shot.”
If the Ducks advance to the second round, they would advance to a 4 p.m. semifinal matchup with the No. 1 seed Washington Huskies. The Ducks split with Washington in Seattle in what ended up being their last series of the season, after California cancelled their matchup for the Ducks’ final two games of the regular season.
“They’re pretty consistent with their three lines top to bottom,” Stankeivicz said of the Huskies. “They have a veteran defense and that helps them out a lot.”
If the Ducks were to advance to Sunday’s championship game, they would play either No. 2 seed UCLA Bruins or No. 3 seed California Bears, who will play in the second semi-final game. The losers of the two semi-final games on Saturday will play in third-place game on Sunday.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445